Local Chef Brian Donnelly runs Belfast’s only authentic ramen noodle bar. The multi-award winning Bia Rebel is situated on the Ormeau Road, Belfast.
Their punchy flavours and rebel attitude reflect Brian’s own unique journey, one which required overcoming an addiction to alcohol.
Brian credits sobriety with allowing him to build a vibrant new business. As this week is Alcohol Awareness Week, Brian & Addiction NI want to use his personal experience to show other alcohol-dependent people that positive change is possible.
Christmas is the season to go out and celebrate with friends and family; the hospitality business reaches its busiest time of year and drinking for many becomes the norm. At Addiction NI, we want people to improve the public’s understanding of the impact of alcohol and to consider the ways in which we drink, encouraging people to talk about alcohol and break the stigma that surrounds addiction.
Working in the hospitality business all his life, Brian took to drinking to overcome the stresses of the job, the late nights and after shift buzz. He lived his life to the extreme, working all hours, running extreme marathons, all whilst drinking heavily. Brian eventually hit the wall and stopped. He stopped running, stopped drinking and stopped cooking. In Brian’s case, abstinence was how he chose to overcome his addiction and manage his own recovery.
Once in recovery Brian felt ready to start again by applying the same stripped back to basics methodology he adopted to facilitate his recovery. Starting with just two basic staple ingredients flour and water. The result was Bia Rebel simple, healthy food to nourish the body, mind and soul. His journey of rediscovering his love of cooking became another chapter of his recovery.
Watch the video in full below.